What are INDCs?

  • INDCs are declaration of individual countries which indicate  what post-2020 climate actions they intend to take under a new international agreement, known as their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs).
  • The INDCs combine the top-down system of a United Nations climate agreement with bottom-up system-in elements through which countries put forward their agreements in the context of their own national circumstances, capabilities and priorities, within the ambition to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions enough to keep global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius.
  • The INDCs will not only contain steps taken towards emission reductions, but also aim to address steps taken to adapt to climate change impacts, and what support the country needs-or will provide to address climate change.

India’s INDC :

india emissions cut climate change paris

INDCs emphasise eight key goals

  • sustainable lifestyles,
  • cleaner economic development,
  • reducing emission intensity of GDP,
  • increasing the share of non-fossil fuel based electricity,
  • enhancing carbon sink,
  • adaptation and mobilising finance,
  • technology transfer and
  • capacity building.


India’s proposed targets:

  1. Reduce emissions intensity of its GDP by 33 to 35% by 2030 from 2005 level.
  2. Achieve about 40% electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel based energy resources by 2030 with help of transfer of technology and low cost international finance.
  3. Create an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent through additional forest and tree cover by 2030.


How much it will cost?

  • Preliminary estimates suggest India would require at least USD 2.5 trillion at current prices to implement all these plans till 2030.
  • NITI Aayog has said that the mitigation activities for moderate low carbon development would cost around 834 billion dollars till 2030.


What are India’s ongoing efforts to achieve its climate objectives?

  • India had set for itself in the run-up to the 2009 climate conference in Copenhagen, the previous time the world had attempted to finalise a climate agreement, but had failed. At that time, India had said it would cut its emission intensity by 20 to 25% by the year 2020 compared to 2005.
  • In its INDC, India says its emission intensity in 2010 had already been cut by 12% as compared to 2005.
  • India has already planned to install 175 GW of power generation capacity through renewable energy sources by the year 2022.
  • It has also planned to increase the coal cess and increase taxes on petrol and diesel. India has already cut its petroleum subsidy by 26% over the last one year.
  • Several of government’s flagship programmes like the Smart Cities Mission, Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), Swachh Bharat Mission, National Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY), National Mission for Clean Ganga, Make in India policy, Soil Health Card scheme, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana and many others aim to achieve the climate objectives.


Where does India stand as a polluter?

India is the fourth biggest emitter of greenhouse gases after China, the United States, and European Union as a whole


How will India fund these measure?

  • India will bank of fiscal measures including fuel  subsidy cuts and increased taxes on fossil fuels including diesel and petrol.
  • Cess on coal — National Clean Environment Fund — used for financing clean energy, technologies, and project related to it.
  • Tax-free infrastructure bonds – introduced for funding of renewable energy projects
  • 14th FC –> devolution of funds to states –> forest as a criteria



What critics say?

INDC –> additional forest cover promise. But

  • Analysis of existing schemes needed to ensure efficient implementation:
    • National Afforestation Programme (NAP)
    • Joint Forest Management
    • Green India Mission
    • Compensatory Afforestation
  • Availability of land : from where will the land come?
  • NAP, launched in 2002. Around Rs 3,00 crore spent in last decade  with target of 1.94 million ha -> in 2011 –> total area of forest cover actually declined


Are this INDC (and Paris Agreement at large) viable?

There are several challenges:

  • US congress may disapprove Paris agreement like it did with Kyoto Protocol
  • There are still lots of ambiguities in agreement
  • Finance is a major issue.
  • Technology transfer is being opposed by corporates due to their IPRs

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